For the past several weeks my inbox has been deluged with emails from various sources all claiming that my federal tax deposit made online at Electronic Federal Tax Payment System — or EFTPS — has been rejected by the IRS. Some indicate that my “company code” was entered incorrectly. Others claim (along with numerous misspellings and grammatical errors) that the IRS could not process the payment because it was made on a holiday. Like that would ever stop the IRS from processing a payment.
The first email arrived the day after my assistant made a federal tax deposit of payroll taxes. It makes me wonder if the scammers have access to the IRS website; do they know who is using it and when? Or was it just coincidence?
In the email I was directed to what appears to be an IRS website. I did not go there. They would have probably asked me to re-enter all of my valuable financial information. You know what’s coming next, don’t you? Yep, identity theft or at least a funneling of my funds to the scammer’s untraceable overseas account.
Please know that the IRS does not send official communications to taxpayers via e-mail. It just isn’t done that way. If you receive one of these email scams, forward the email in question to email@example.com. I have jammed their inbox with probably four dozen tax scam emails over the past month — all from different sources, all claiming similar problems with the processing of my tax payment. If you forward a suspicious email to the IRS, you will receive an email response from the IRS thanking you for sending the information to them, but otherwise you won’t hear the outcome.
If you are registered to make your various federal tax payments online, you will see this banner across the home page:
Remember: EFTPS values your privacy and security and will never attempt to contact you via email. If you ever receive an email that claims to be from EFTPS or from a sender you do not recognize that mentions a payment made through EFTPS, forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.